I Bid Adieu To….Chick 3

We all know that I’m not happy about it but there is absolutely nothing that can be done, so I packed up my “Chick 3” ensemble tonight to pass on to the newbie runner for Ragnar Chicago Team #85 – You Just Got Chicked.

Chick 3

So much emotion went into the preparation and planning for this team that it seems unreal that it’s no longer on my plate.  I feel as if I section has been torn out of my book and the ending left unknown, questioned and lost.  Super sad.  Loads of tears.

I’d like to send out a few Thank You’s..…..

  • Thanks to the ladies who have already asked me to be part of their 2013 Ragnar teams.  Much appreciated but my wounds are still fresh and well, I can’t walk very well right now so won’t be planning any long distance relays at this time
  • Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and words of encouragement.
  • Thanks to all of you who were scrambling in an attempt to fill my ultra spot on the relay.
  • Thanks to those of you who offered up ideas on SKINNY drinks. 
  • Thanks to Ragnar for sending me such a nice email, informing me that my captain had dropped me from the team.  I got that.  My foot popped, I knew I’d be dropped.  Good times.  Thanks for the info.
  • Thanks to  Aby for limping around downtown with me this week, going to work with me, helping me onto the train, filing, copying and running back & forth to the freezer for my ice bag.
  • Thanks to hubby for pretending he gave a shit cared about the billion tears I cried over a relay that happens EVERY year.  This isn’t exactly the last one, there will be a “few” more!
  • Thanks to BondiBand, Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, Family Fan Club, ShowerPill and Gu Energy for setting up Team You Just Got Chicked to kick some ass have fun in this race.

I hope you all have an awesome Ragnar, if you are running, or kick some butt on whatever you attempt this weekend!  #MakeItCount

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

4 Days til Ragnar – 4 Things For Which I’m Thankful (Injury Related)

This will be my last Ragnar countdown day since I, of course, will not be running.  We finally have a new “chick” to take my place so that removes a huge weight from my shoulders.  I’m incredibly sad over the entire situation but at least my team is now covered.

Since I’m feeling a bit “blue”, I thought it would be good to think of 4 things for which I am thankful in relation to the injury.

Ruptured PF

This rupture, tear, strain, whatever you want to call it, is not optimal as I look at a full calendar of races, the relay, and my most coveted 70.3 events which I will have to miss; however, here are my 4 things positive:

  1. I can finally stop running in pain.  Each day I went out the door, I ran thru pain.  I have been running in pain for over a year.  The $600 orthotics  helped, but to keep it at a bearable level, we have resorted to anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots.  The cortisone was not intended to be a quick fix (until the one we did on FRI in an attempt to get me thru Ragnar, which totally backfired, didn’t it?) but rather a process of decreasing the inflammation and hoping it would heal in the process.  That didn’t work and the pain always crept back.   So now, I have a REAL reason to stop running without feeling like I am copping out or being a wuss.  
  2. Hello, summer!  I plan to spend lots of hours floating in the pool.   This is my favorite type of float cuz it keeps me cool by sinking me in the water while still holding me up!pool float

    In relation to this, I am also thankful that Mr.. Michael is more chill and fun this year.  He loves his sister so much that it takes some pressure off me and will hopefully allow me some float time unlike the last two summersNow let’s just get that cloudiness out of the pool so the fun can begin!

  3. Since there are not any early morning runs in my future, I can also enjoy a few cocktails.  Any low call adult beverage suggestions?                        cocktails
  4. My family is being nice to me.   They are helping and working together to get done all the crap things that mommy usually does herself.               family working together 

  So back to those low cal beverages?  Any ideas?

** Happy Running or Lounging, whatever is in the cards for you this summer! **  Amanda – TooTallFritz

6 Days til Ragnar – 6 Chicks

So today brings us 6 days out from the start of the 2012 Chicago Ragnar Relays.  And we have 6 chicks that form our ultra team, You Just Got Chicked.

6 Chicks _ red x me

However, one chick…..ME, isn’t going to get to run.  I “may” have mentioned that my Plantar Fasciitis flared up BEYOND comprehension over the last couple weeks.  And we “may” have been trying to get me thru the Ragnar Relays by using the acupuncture, foot manipulation, cortisone shot, ice & motrin but it all blew up this morning.  Quite  literally BLEW UP.  I was running,  a little over a mile from my car, turned around because the pain was so bad that I audibly said, “I can’t do this today”, then about 2 minutes later something popped.  It felt like I got shot in the side of the heel in the arch.  Wow.  I hobbled back to my car and drove bawling straight to the chiro.  I honestly thought I would need surgery but knew she would be honest and tell me what to do and basically not panic like I was at the time.  I honestly thought blood had to be squirting out of my shoe cuz it seemed impossible that something could hurt so badly and not be squirting blood. 

So the “good news” is that nothing is broken.  Although it would heal faster if something had broke.  I don’t need surgery but was told that rehab will be the same as if I had to have surgery.  12 weeks off or I can try to start taping after 2 weeks, keep running which would be stupid and risk further injury.  I was basically told after 2 weeks, if I started up again, I might get another 2 weeks before I was back here or worse.  I think the best case scenario since I don’t get paid to run and TRI, would be to suck it up and take the 12 weeks off.   No Ragnar.  No 70.3 Ironman Muncie.  No Great Illini Challenge 70.3.  No Chicago Marathon. 

At this point it hurts to walk and the main focus is getting the swelling out.  I iced more today than ever before in my life.  I used a bucket of ice, I soaked my foot in our green pool, and I used an ice wrap.

foot in pool with kids foot on ice

So I’m going to focus on walking first and then the rest will come with time.  Or not.  Whatever happens, happens.  If I understand it correctly, all of this is related to the plantar fasciitis and the heel spurs but I have a secondary issue which deals with the muscle or ligament which runs beside my tibia (big bone that most call the shin bone).   This ligament attaches to the heel bone thru the arch.  Well, this has been a very painful tender area and we knew it was a problem but today it reared is ugly head and stated its presence for real.  This ligament is strained/torn/pulled/sprained…..whatever you want to call it.  Doesn’t even matter at this point.  It hurts like a bitch badly.

So, the search is on for a lady runner for our Ragnar team.  33 miles is the distance which needs to be covered over the 30+ hour period.  And yes, the race is 6 days away.  Yes, the race starts in Madison, WI.  If you have an interest in running, message me ASAP.  I need to fill my spot.  I can’t walk so running is absolutely not an option.  Please think and help me fill this spot!

** Happy PAIN FREE Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

7 Days til Ragnar – 7 Things I’ll Be Packing

We are 7 days out from Ragnar Chicago and it was a rough day in TTF land, luckily I had the day off from actual “work”. The day started well when I went to the pool and swallowed a ton of TRI Smart Water.  Wow, they swim fast compared to me.  Wow, they kick up a lot of water in the pool.  Wow, they pull a good current when you are surrounded by 4 of them.  Wow, I suck at swimming.  Wow, I’ve never seen the pool so busy.

After the swim, I only had time to squeeze in a 27 mile ride on the trainer before hitting the chiro.  Today she tried acupuncture since my body doesn’t respond like a “normal” person.  Being special isn’t so great in a situation like this.  I’m gonna post this “needles in the foot” pic again for my mom those of you who don’t have facebook or follow me on twitter.

After the needle fun at the chiro, I went directly to the foot surgeon for a more needle action in the form of a cortisone shot.  He infused the cortisone with an anesthetic in order to numb the foot out for a week or so.  Let’s cross our fingers!  Ragnar here I come…..Dear Foot:  Please comply!

In developing a list of 7 things I “need” that are possibly not going to be in every runner’s bag, I started with the important stuff:

  1. Ice bag.  I have a gel ice bag that I’m planning to beg my teammates to stuff in the cooler.  I need it.
  2. Motrin.  I need it.
  3. Merrill Encore Ice slip-on shoe.  Although this is probably the ugliest shoe I have ever purchased, I’m glad to have it.  I bought it off the clearance rack at REI and it holds my plantar fascia up and keeps my feet feeling “ok”.  I need them.  But they are ugly.  I’m considering getting a sandal just like this too.  🙂
  4. Toothbrush.  I know we won’t be having a lot of time to shower  but I’m hoping to be able to at least brush my teeth.
  5. Tortilla-Peanut Butter- Dill Pickle wraps.  I know this sounds disgusting but I actually like peanut butter and pickles together and I think this will work well for me food wise and I’ll be able to avoid the soggy bread issue.
  6. Rehydrate Energy Gel – This is a new product which totally rocks.  It is easy on my tummy and has an excellent lemon taste.  I still can’t get over how awesome this stuff is and am looking forward to our long term relationship. 
  7. A freakin’ AWESOME attitude.  I think this is probably the most important “item” on the list.  We are going to be tired, cranky and the worst thing we can do is take it out on each other or somebody else.  In order to have a good time, each person is responsible for bringing a good attitude.  Ever heard the saying, “if you aren’t having fun, it’s your own fault”?  So let’s bring it, rock this thing and have some fun!!

What would you take on your relay run adventure?

** Happy Relaying ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

8 Days til Ragnar Chicago – 8 Ragnar Questions Answered

There are so many questions floating around about relay races, some people live under a rock haven’t even heard about them and others just don’t know much about them.  So here are the top 8 questions which I get regarding Ragnar.

Ragnar Chicago Header

  1. How do you get a team together?  Answer:  I joined a team that was partially formed by RunWithJess.  You may think you know a ton of people who run and would jump at the opportunity to participate in such a momentous event but getting 6 (for an ultra team) or 12 people (for a regular team) to commit, pay and show up is a bit of a reality check.  **I actually know a local team who needs 2 runners for the race NEXT WEEK.  If you are interested, please let me know and I can get you in contact with them.  They have a regular team and you could pick your position, distances for the 3 legs you would need to run could be as low as 13 miles (total) or as high as 20 miles, you get to pick.  Girls or guys welcome.  2 people  needed.**
  2. Where will you sleep?  Answer:  Due to the way our 6 chick team is set up with us rotating, I will be running every 6th leg, we will also need to drive, navigate, and encourage/aid the teammate running at the time…..I really don’t see much sleep in our equation, like I probably won’t waste the space by taking a pillow/blanket.
  3. Where will  you go to the bathroom?  Answer:  This is a big issue!  We have been warned that we can only go to the bathroom in the designated areas, drop-off points and/or official port-o-pot locations.  Fun, I hope we don’t have any GI issues.  This one could get a little messy…..quite literally.  Oh, and we will get disqualified if we go to the bathroom anywhere other than an “official” location.  Awesome.  I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for one of these….

    porta potty

    Wonder if we could get a little trailer, rent a port-o-pot and haul it behind the van?  Maybe charge $1 for every non-team member who would like to use it?  I bet it would pay for itself.  🙂

  4. What will you eat?  Answer:  A lot of relay teams actually take the time to stop, eat, get coffee, etc.  However, I don’t think that will be in the cards for us since we are rotating runners so quickly and will be spending all non-drive time in line for the port-o-pot.  Our team is planning to take our food.  We have a few runners ME, ME, ME who may, or may not, have a sensitive tummy and we want to control the food intake as much as possible.  I’m seriously considering getting giant tortilla wraps, spreading them heavily with peanut butter and rolling it up with a giant whole pickle in the middle.  This will give me carbs, fat, protein & salt.  Sounds crazy but I won’t have to worry about soggy bread!  Whatcha think? 
  5. Do you really have to run all night?  Answer:  You betcha!  (Can you say that in the Sarah Palin voice?)  Each person in the van needs a reflective vest and is required to wear it during the run portion and at any point when they are outside the van from 7:30pm til 6am.  Huge thanks to MagMileRunner and RunningKellometers for letting us borrow their vests!  Basically if it’s your leg to run and it’s dark, congrats, your running in the dark.  I’d suggest a nice pair of KnuckleLights so you can see where you are going, so much better than headlamps!  Each runner also needs a red blinker for their bum back.   This means if one person gets lost, everyone following their little blinker will most likely follow them into no man’s land.  Awesome.
  6. What happens if somebody gets injured or sick during the race and cannot complete the relay?  Answer:  This is a very REAL issue.  You cannot sub in runners after the race commences.  Whoever you have in your van must complete the legs assigned.  Therefore, if Suzie gets injured, then one of her van-mates will need to run the remainder of her legs or possibly carry her, if they are really nice.  🙂injured runner being carried
  7. Is there a time frame in which you must complete the race?   Answer:   According to Ragnar rules, each runner needs to maintain an 11 minute mile pace.  However, each team member had to identify a 10K pace (I padded mine with a “few” extra minutes considering I will be running 33 miles in total….hoping not to fizzle out!!) in order for the race director to select start times and order the teams in a way that the event runs smoothly.  They don’t want too many people/runners moving thru an area at any given time.  Basically, you need to stick to your pace because there is a lot going on to which you are not privy.  So pick an honest pace and try to stick to it so that it doesn’t domino a series of events which you cannot control.  If your team runs too fast, Ragnar officials can hold your team for up to a couple hours to get your team back on track pace wise.  No mention if you run too slow which I hope isn’t a personal problem for me!
  8. Are you crazy?  Or maybe the exact question was “Have you lost your mind?”  Answer:  TBD.  I don’t think I’m crazy but that is according to my personality.  For some, this type of thing would be considered crazy.  I personally try to do ONE thing each year that is “outside MY box”.  The “ONE THING” isn’t always fitness related but normally that’s the kind of challenge I gravitate toward.  Just one thing.  Once a year. Something to impact me as a person and push my limits.  2012 = Ragnar Chicago.  If that’s crazy then, move over cuz this crazy runner is barreling thru….. all the way from Madison, WI to  Chicago.  WhoooooooHoooooooo!

Crazy_Runner

Do you also try to  do something every year that you consider to be “outside the box”?   Do you have any Ragnar questions which you would like me to “attempt” to answer?       

** Happy CRAZY Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

9 Days til Ragnar Chicago – 9 Things Ragnar Chicago

We are officially 9 days out from the start of the Ragnar Relays 2012 Chicago edition!

Ragnar - I Ragnar 

So today’s focus will be on 9 things Ragnar “Chicago Style”!

  1. The Chicago Edition of the Ragnar Relays includes 198.3 miles of run fun which travels  the Midwest from Madison, WI to Montrose Beach in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. ragnar-map2
  2. Each team participating will have either 6 or 12 participants.  The 6 person team is considered crazy an ultra team,  meaning that each member will be running more than the 26.2 distance over the course of the event. Here is my crazy ultra team – You Just Got Chicked.   We are Team #85 and we start our fun run at 7:30 am on Friday, June 8th.ragnar_ladies_tree
  3. The race will blow thru 3 college towns:  Madison, WI  (University Wisconsin – Madison),  Evanston, IL (Northwestern University) and lastly Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood for a view of the Loyola campus and a run down the beautifully shaded Sheridan Road.
  4. The course will include two big name trails:  The Glacial Drumlin Trail and the Oak Leaf Trail.  The Glacial Drumlin Trail is 52 miles in length and considered to be one of Wisconsin’s best bicycle trails.  It is an abandoned rail trail, which always means flat and fast if you are looking for speed.  Expect to pay a fee for a day pass to enjoy this gem. DSCN4514-Glacial_Drumlin_TrailThe Oak Leaf Trail is free and consists of a network of trails surrounding the Milwaukee area.  This trail is also a rail trail of 108 miles in length.  Of those 108 miles, the trail boosts over a quarter of its mileage along the shores of Lake Michigan!                                                                                                                  Oak Leaf Trail                  Oak Leaf Trail 2
  5. Those of us familiar with relays are probably going back to our school days and thinking about passing the baton.  No, we do not need to carry a baton for 200 miles.  Each team will be issued a slap bracelet which we will transfer to each new runner.  Photo source:  Team – My Big Fat Ragnar Wedding, Ragnar Napa Valley.  See recap HERE.                           ragnar-bracelet 
  6. Each team will travel in 1 or 2 vans to get runners to/from exchange points.  We will have 1 van for our 6 lovely chicks.  Hmmmmm, how to decorate the van to suit our team/personalities?
  7. Each team may, or may not, have a driver to navigate the course.  I believe as of last week, our runners serve as the athletes, drivers and spotters/navigators.  I think the navigation scares me more than the running and driving.  🙂
  8. Short of injury or illness, we must keep the same rotation of runners.  I’m “Chick 3” and will be running the legs for runner #3 and runner #9.  The legs include:  #3 (2.7 miles – easy), #9 (8.2 miles – very hard ……gee, I hope it’s dark too), #15 (5.3 miles – moderate), #21 (5.3 miles – moderate), #27 (5.6 miles – hard), #33 (4.8 miles – moderate).  Total  for Chick 3 = 32.1 miles and I’m dedicated to an 8:30 pace.
  9. Our race starts at 7:30 am on Friday, June 8th and if we maintain pace, then we will be finished and sipping beer on Montrose Beach approximately 30.25 hours later, which is 1:45pm on Saturday, June 9th.  Look for us, we’ll be there .                                              Montrose Beach

Have you ran any relay races?  Any tips for us? 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

Team (You Just Got) Chicked – Ragnar 2012

Today was the first “team” meeting for our 2012 Ragnar (Ultra) Team (You Just Got) Chicked.  We are running the Madison, WI to Chicago edition of the race and let it suffice to say that we are SLIGHTLY excited.  We have already secured Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, GU Energy & BondiBands as sponsors and the biggest  hurdle to date was “the” meeting.  As with any situation where you are meeting new and important people, I mean does it get more important than 5 women you will share a van with while running a combined 200 miles, the first meeting is always a mystery.  Will I like them, will they like me, can we share a van and not kill each other?  So I was excited but also tentative about the meeting.  However, it didn’t take us any time at all to introduce ourselves and begin bonding.  I already love these crazy bitches ladies.  From left:  Me, Kate, Lara (up), Julie, Tara & Jess – Run with Jess.I know you will be shocked but we decided our first meet-up would start with a nice 10 miler.  Jess picked the I&M Canal Trail as a half way point and it was both easy to get to and a beautiful trail to run.  I absolutely LOVE running new trails so that was a perfect day for me in many regards:  new friends, running a new trail, then a yummy lunch!

Since our meeting spot was one stop shy of the very west end of the trail, we ran east for 5, then turned back into the wind for a rough return.  The trail was crushed limestone, frozen and rough on the feet but the wind was ferocious and made the 10 feel like 15.  However, the scenery was beautiful.

And my teammates didn’t seem to mind my constant requests for pics so I totally took advantage of the situation. 

Jess and I with matching shoes. 

It was a really great day and I can honestly say that I had a great time and feel as if I actually had time to get to know a little bit about my teammates.  We were also on a super secret mission from Aspaeris Pivot Shorts and although I feel like we may have failed them, we gave it a honest effort considering the freezing temps and high winds.

Thanks for a great day, ladies!  I can’t wait to get to know all of you even better and run a kick ass relay with all of you.

Would you ever consider a relay event like Ragnar or Hood to Coast?  Or have you already participated in something like this?  If so, give us some pointers!

Til We Meet Again Team Chicked,                                                                             Amanda – TooTallFritz

2012….The Mystery of What Will Be…..

This is the first day of 2012 and we are looking at a fresh start with a  whole new year in front of us.  What will you bring to Ms. TooTall and the family, 2012?  This is the time in which many are making New Year’s Resolutions; however, I am not really a fan of a “resolution” per say .  I think that many treat resolutions like rules with the “they are made to be broken” type attitude.  So in absence of a New Year’s Resolution, each year I attempt to develop some sort of challenge for myself and as many people as I can suck into the insane plan.  As with all good plans/challenges, it needs to most importantly bring about a good story in the process!  I really believe that over half of the endeavors in which I have sucked my sister into  completed were for the sole sake of having a good story.

Thru the years, we have developed some REALLY good stories.  Still one of my favorites was the 2005 Rim to Rim hike thru the Grand Canyon with (Me), Sara (my sis), Lisa E., Lisa’s Cousin Cindy & Lisa’s mom:

That adventure was my foray back to fitness.  It was a long road cuz I had 10+ years of excess eating/drinking to redirect but I not only hauled my ass person from the North Rim, to Phantom Ranch on the Colorado River but then up the South Kaibab Trail for a finish on the South Rim.  Good times.  Good memories.  And it was a heck of a workout!  This adventure was a catalyst to my current state of fitness.  More importantly, it gave me the confidence to also try other things that prior to that point, I would have NEVER though possible.

LOTS OF RUNNING

Me & Abby S. during the Inaugural 2008 Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon:LOTS OF FAST RACINGLOTS OF TRIATHLON

I’m unzipping the black wetsuit in the middle.

MUD & OBSTACLES

 CROSS TRAINING & SWEAT

LOTS OF NEW FRIENDS

So after so much fun and sweat it is hard to create a budget friendly challenge for the new year.  Last year I challenged myself to run 1000 miles.  I made it despite fighting injuries from March thru year-end.  This year I wanted something new and fresh and along came….So the big adventure for Ms. TooTall for 2012 will be participating in a chicks only, 6 person, ultra relay team for the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay Series. 33 miles over the course of 2 days/nights in early June.  This is gonna be insane fun and should provide us with a GREAT story!

I will also be running the 2012 Chicago Marathon and delving back into Triathlon after a long bike hiatus from Mr. Michael’s birth/toddler years.   The goal is a 1000 running miles and 1000 bike miles.  This will be TOUGH for me but I joined Team Tough Chik for 2012 so hopefully that will provide extra support that I need to make this happen!  If you are interested in being on Team Tough Chik for 2012, click HERE.  The deadline for joining the team has been extended until Jan 7.  See a few of my fellow Tough Chiks below.

What do you have planned for 2012?  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?

Once Again…..Happy New Year!                                                                                Amanda – TooTallFritz